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Thread: Jewish perspective on breastfeeding...

  1. #19
    pholmes Guest

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    Hi Yael,



    I think your right re the bible not having anything about breastfeeding. I am Catholic and aside from the commandments we have our own set fo rules as well. The main ones are contained in the Catholic Catechism and others have been delivered in Papal Encyclicals over time. I dont think they are as prescriptive about things like diet etc. They contain things about family and religious obligations, like the forbidding of re marriage or more than one marriage and the use of contraception etc, some people dont follow them as they believe they are too old fashined etc. They do promote good family values. I cant remember them ever mentioning anything about breastfeeding.

  2. #20

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    I love defining roles as well! Which is part of the reason I vowed to obey my husband when we married - the Bible states wives should obey their husbands, but that husbands should give everything for their wives. When two people think of the other more than themselves you usually get a happy couple!

    Shannon, it's an obligation to the husband because it's the wife's role to give the husband healthy children - yes, it's also good for her and the children, but providing healthy children is an obligation to your husband. I don't think any man would disown his wife for not having a healthy child, but some practices for "deformed" babies were quite cruel.

    I do remember something about an Italian Catholic divorcing her husband because of lack of relations... he was "denying her the right to have a baby" and she was granted the divorce. I remember that because for a Catholic to get a divorce it has to be OK'd by the laws in the Bible and is a big thing, also because I was really mad at DH at the time and e-mailed it to him as a bit of a threat, but can't find it now.

  3. #21

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    Don't worry Natalie, my DH tells me something, and i'm like "yeah, but show me the source"... i also don't just listen to people tell me what they think they law is. I like sources...DH spent 3 years learning Torah full time overseas, but that is nothing compared to some people. People easily spend 10-15 (even 50) years studying full time, and still donít know nearly everything

    But i agree, even when you have them, people can interpret them very differently... In Judaism we say there are 600,000 different paths to interpret the Torah. You can't just decide for yourself, you have to have a Rabbi who follows a particular path, but thats why within Judaism people do different things, even though they are all following Torah through their Rabbi's.

    We are orthodox, so I cover my hair & other laws of modesty, keep Shabbat completely, keep kosher all that kind of things. Its like you say, i like that i have my faith to draw on when things aren't easy. But i wasn't bought up religious, so its something that i have come to after a lot of searching, and therefore i know it's something i truely believe in, not an excuse when things are hard.

    I 100% agree with you about divorce rates and not having roles and common focus' defined! Just look at the rates in USA 50% i think, or perhaps greater now, whereas within orthodox Judaism i think its more around 3-4%.

  4. #22

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    Kosher = Jewish dietry laws. We don't eat:

    1) milk and meat together, so we have seperate dishes and cooking utensils (and dishwashers) for when we have meat meals and when i make anything with milk, cheese and a milk derivative. I also wait 6 hours after eating meat before i eat milk (no dairy icecream after a burger).

    2) We don't eat certain foods:
    -meats like pork (anything that doesn't chew its cuds and has split hoofs),
    - no seafood other than some types of fish (anything that has scales & fins)
    - no insects (certain food colourings & preseratives) and we wash & check all our veggies & fruit.

    Because we want to make sure that what we are buying doesn't have anything in it that we can't eat in eat, normally you buy food that has a special stamp to say it was supervised by a rabbi (you will see similar stamps on food for Halal). There is also a list where they contact the companies and ask them for every single ingredient to work out whether it is kosher or not, but this is in some ways a lower level of kosher as there is a lot of potential for things to go wrong and slip in the food. We only buy food that has the stamp on it, and even then only from certain rabbi's. We buy some from a big rabbi in Melbourne, but a lot of kosher food is imported from England, USA & Israel. We will only eat in kosher restarants.

    A lot of non Jewish people perceive it as cleaner & healthier and eat kosher only also. In fact, in the USA kosher market, non-Jewish kosher eaters are the biggest growth area. Vegeterians also like it as all food is clearly labelled if it has any meat or deriviates, milk or in vegan (although be careful about this, because kosher pareve doesn't acutally mean vegan, it means no meat or milk, but can contain fish which isn't considered a meat).

    Shabbat - Jewish Sabbath. Occurs from Sunset on Friday to Dark on Saturday night (around 25hours). We don't do various activities, mainly using electricity, and cooking food. You turn on the lights (or put on a timer) what you will need, and all food is made beforehand. You don't drive you car, use a phone, watch TV (if you own one anyway).... I know we sound kinda Amish, but you can live a very normal day. Its a big time for family & friends and most people have big meals on Friday night and Saturday lunch. And for going to synagogue, although my husband goes 3 times a day every day, the service on Saturday morning is longer & you do more stuff (read the Torah etc). Women also go, its just hard with the babies, but i normally walk down for the end and they also have a buffet with lots and lots of little nibbles and great cakes. Then people go home for their big meal.

    Covering Hair - in Judaism this is only something you do once you get married. There are many reasons for it, a big long to go into now, but i hope my daughter will cover her hair once she gets married. Everybody does what they are comfortable with and what they are ready for, but according to Jewish law you should cover your hair if married, just like you should eat kosher.

    HTH.

  5. #23

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    Yael, i'm interested in your opinion on something. I am Jewish, my parents are Reform and I grew up going to Cheder and to Synagogue on holidays etc. I chose not to have a Bat Mitzvah. I will always think of myself as being Jewish but more in a way of being part of a tribe (for want of a better word) of people then as a religion. As far as faith is concerened i'm not sure what I beleive but I will always think of myself as being Jewish - does that make sense?

    What I mean is do you think that there is such a thing as a non-practising Jew? I want my children to go to Cheder and I would love for them to beleive in God but I want them to make their own decisions - at the moment if DS asks me about God I tell him that if he beleives in God then yes, God is real. He hasn't asked me what I think and I hope he doesn't, at least till I know what I think.

    I'm not really sure what i'm asking you here, sorry, it's a bit garbled. I guess it has been weighing on my mind recently.

  6. #24

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    I know we sound kinda Amish, but you can live a very normal day. Its a big time for family & friends and most people have big meals on Friday night and Saturday lunch.
    I don't think it sounds Amish at all, Yael. We have Ramadan every year and we fast from sunrise until sunset, with nosustenance at all. No food, water, sex, no cigarettes for people who smoke. We are also not supposed to get angry - it is a time of patience. But the Iftar - which is the meal in the evening - is a massive celebration with a feast for all of the family to get together. Even though it's very hard, it's my favourite time of year because I feel good that. Shabbat sounds like that. A time that is set aside for worship or remembrance of God without distractions.

    Do you cover your hair completely? I have seen Orthodox men, but can't remember if their wives were covered or not.

    I have been meaning to ask you how your eczema is?

  7. #25

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    Our fast days are exactly the same.

    we have 2 major fast (25hours - sunset to dark) with no food, water (one one of them you can smoke, although many rabbi's say it's forbidden to smoke at all), and no marital relations.

    One the 4 (5 if you are a firstborn male) minor fasts its dawn until sunset, with the same restrictions except smoking.

    I don't mind the minor fasts (although you don't do these if preg or bfeeding or sick), the major ones i on;y get thirsty like 2 hours before the end.

    In Judaism you can break almost any law to save a life (no murder, idolatory or adultary though), so if you are sick you are forbidden to fast.

    Its souns strange to people, but i find it quite cleansing in a way. Makes you stop thinking about the physical and mundane all the time. A whole month of that would be very cleansing.

    In Judaism, i guess its like Islam, different people have different levels of observance. I cover my hair completely, (although a few strands might come out)... I choose to wear a wig (you wouldn't know so much it wasn't my hair unless you looked for it) when i'm outside, some other groups only wear scarfs. Some groups aren't quite at the same level, and will wear a hat with their own hair showing, other women won't cover at all.

    I keep my hair covered at all times, only my husband will see it (and Kelly when i was in labour ). I wouldn't show my children or other women. Do muslim women cover their hair at homes? Technically you don't have to cover at home, although its advised in case people come to the door etc.

    Thank G-d, my ecezma is getting better with my UV therapy! I had a big flare up (smoke from bushfires isn't helping), and my hands didn't get nearly as bad as they normally do! Only 1 golden staph infection Not 5!!

    Although its all over my eyes, lips, nipples atm, but normally the flare up last around 10 days. I think they are becoming more spaced My body ecezma is no where near as bad as my hands, no i'm not having treatment there.. Saw my spec on Tuesday (so annoyed, DH take the day off work to see him and ask him qns as he missed the first appointment, and they put me in with the wrong dermo who had never seen my hands b4 and couldn't say if they were better or not! grrr...)

    Thanks for asking!

  8. #26

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    i'm glad to hear it's getting better.

    I don't cover my hair anymore, though Muslim women are supposed to cover in front of all men except their husband, sons, dad, brothers. I really have a lot of respect for women that cover, but I found it so hard to deal with the looks and comments. My best friend covers and says the insults make her stronger, but I'm not that strong. I have been spat on, shoved down stairs at a railway station, abused and ridiculed and it just got too hard. These things have all happened to my friend, too but she just carries on, lol. Do you or your husband get comments or abuse? I had a friend called Ran from Isreal when I was younger and he copped a bit.

  9. #27
    kerry Guest

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    Yael thank you for starting this thread... I have really enjoyed reading the exchanges here and the beautiful and harmonious way we (as a group) have been able to share and question each other's faiths.
    Last edited by kerry; December 15th, 2006 at 04:10 PM. Reason: poor grammar.. but bugger the spelling!

  10. #28

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    Yes Kerry, I agree. Now if we could just get the world leaders to follow our example, lol...

  11. #29
    pholmes Guest

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    I am with you Kerry and Natalie,

    Diversity is great, its what gives us character. We really do have more similarities than differences. It is a shame that the people in the right positions cant figure it out.

    I just wanted to clarify something Ryn said about the Italian Catholic getting a divorce. They would have been granted an anulment, not a divorce, a divorce is a civil proceeding which is not recognised by the church. If "he was denying her the right to have a baby" then that would be grounds for an anulment. One of the vows Catholics take before God when they marry is that they will accept children freely and willingly as a gift from God, so to deny your spouse that is breaking a marriage vow before God.

    Only Rome (the Pope) can grant an anulment and they take a long time to get. An anulment is different to a divorce as it means that technically the marriage never really existed. This would be the case if this vow was not kept. It has absolutely nothing to do with breastfeeding but I am really enjoying reading this thread and learning more about different faiths and cultures.

  12. #30
    kerry Guest

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    Natalie - world leaders, mainly men, what are the chances of them "listening" to others and actually hearing what was really said????

    You are so right and again I really have enjoyed this thread so much, I'm RC and practising but my parish priest as a child encouraged us to learn about other religions as he said most of the difference between the 'big 3' (not demeaning anyones religion here at all!!!!!) were dogma and tradition as at the crux (no pun intended) we were basically very similar.

    Coming at this time of year, hannukah (sp?), ramadan and christmas it has really embraced the meaning of this time of year, at least for me anyway, peace and good will to all!

    I feel honoured that you have shared something so personal and precious about yourselves (your faith) so freely and honestly, so yet again Thank You all.
    Last edited by kerry; December 21st, 2006 at 12:01 PM. Reason: I really need to not post when I am feeling blue! sorry for the above drival.

  13. #31

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    Thanks for the clarification, pholmes - as I'm not a Catholic I wasn't too sure of the exact terminology, except that in the report I read a fair while ago.

    I agree with the Natalie and Kerry (and others) - we should be world leaders instead! Oh dear me, what would we do if people started getting on with each other?

    Big thanks to Yael for starting this thread, it has been really interesting.

  14. #32

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    Hey guys,

    sorry haven't posted in a while - internet has been down all week... suffering major withdrawl

    Anyway, have to run, last night of hannukah tonight - AND - my 2nd wedding aniversary!

    Will write more on this topic later

    Yael

  15. #33

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    Channukah Sameach and Happy Anniversay Yael!

  16. #34
    Percy Guest

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    Nothing to add - just what a fascinating thread!!! From breatfeeding to comparative religions! A great read - thanks ladies!

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